Mary  Ballantyne (Troup)

Obituary of Mary Ruth Ballantyne (Troup)

27 February 1932 - 10 March 2024


Forever giving, forever caring, forever loving, forever loved.


Mary died peacefully in her home at Orchard View on the Mississippi in Almonte, Ontario, shortly after celebrating her 92nd birthday.  Mary demonstrated the best of qualities: unconditional love, strength of spirit, and a quiet and deep generosity.


Preceded in death by her parents, siblings Wallace Troup and Nora (Troup) Bajjaly, husband Ian Ballantyne, and infant daughter Patricia Jean.  Mary will be dearly missed by her daughters Peigi Dumouchel (Bryan), Sandra Ballantyne (Ibrahim Daibes), and Nora Ballantyne (Chris Savage), as well as grandchildren Meaghan (Lo), Gerry (Chantal), Cole, Khalil, Rowan, Danna and Mara. She will be fondly remembered by her nieces and nephews and their children, and by the precious women in her life, family and friends, with whom she shared a lifetime of experience. 


Born in Ottawa, Ontario, elder daughter of the late Dr. Wallace and Ruth (Johnston) Troup, Mary grew up in the Glebe, and enjoyed summers at The Cedars, by the Ottawa River in Quebec. She attended Mutchmor and Glashan Public Schools, Glebe CVI, then Queen’s University for her Bachelor of Arts, followed by Ottawa Teachers’ College.


She married Ian Ballantyne in 1954 and embarked on four decades of military life. There were postings across Canada and Europe, during which they raised a family, and experienced travel and adventure.  Upon returning to Canada, Mary resumed her teaching career.  She had a passion for her work with children who had special needs in literacy.  Her pride was in each student, as they gained confidence and success through reading. After retirement and into her eighties, she had pleasure and purpose in volunteering with students. 


With her children grown, Mary spent time in Ottawa and Kingston, and then settled on her own piece of heaven – in the house that son-in-law Bryan built for her at Troy Lake, with daily gratitude for views of sky, trees and water. For the next twenty-five years, she actively participated in the community of nearby Elgin, and Nana Mary created beautiful memories with her daughters, their husbands and her grandchildren. She generously supported us all, especially in education, in music, and in travels.


Mary was truly a life-long learner.  She was a champion of the Ban Righ Centre which supports mature women students at Queen’s University, and created the Troup-Ballantyne Fund to honour her parents, who placed a high value on women’s education. When family drew her to Jerusalem and Ramallah, Mary became passionate about Palestinian history and social justice.  She made seven visits to the Middle East, expanded her library, and never ceased in her advocacy. Her commitment to knowledge grew, and she journeyed within, and then through, the Presbyterian and United churches.  


In later years, Mary chose to move to the beautiful town of Almonte in 2017, from where she could still visit Troy Lake frequently.  At Orchard View, she developed many meaningful relationships, and always remarked on being “safe, warm and comfortable.” She also made it through Covid Time with optimism and good care.  She was known for knitting constantly (a scarf for every occasion, and an enormous output of handknit socks for charity), being an avid jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, triumphing at trivia (especially in history), and always keeping informed on current news. Her little-known claim to fame was that she shared her birth date with Elizabeth Taylor. 


With Mary’s passing, her daughters are already wondering, who will answer all our questions now? We know we will honour her legacy by living our lives to the fullest, and by remembering her guidance from Albert Einstein… Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. 


Mary’s daughters express deepest gratitude to the outstanding staff of Orchard View – you have created a family of caring and trust.  We will never find adequate words of thanks for those who provided immeasurably compassionate end-of-life care. 


All of Mary’s family were with her in her last days.  As she requested, there will be no memorial service.  For those wishing, donations may be made to the Ban Righ Foundation at Queen's University, or to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

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